Can a Catholic Still Maintain the Death Penalty?

In my opinion, the death penalty is no longer a proper punishment unless the state’s jurisdiction do not have the necessary resources to keep the public safe from the offender. So, I believe the death penalty should be abolished in the U.S., especially since it contradicts the eighth amendment (cruel and unusual punishment).

Can any government eliminate the risk that a life sentenced serial killer will falsify evidence decades later (once the case is forgotten, witnesses have died, etc.) in order to overturn his conviction or get release on bail?

Whatever Pope Leo was referring to, and whatever you’re referring to by referencing him, is simply irrelevant given that no one, and certainly not me, has made such an obviously false claim.

The medical wisdom in the 13th century…

We’re not discussing the increase in scientific knowledge; we’re discussing morality, which, unlike knowledge, does not grow or change from one time to another.

Just as a decision to keep using the death sentence in the light of alternative measures would also be the contradictory to the wholeness of the body of society.

This is a vague generality which “resolves” the issues by refusing to actually address them. This is more of “we know so much more now than before”, which is an argument for a prudential choice, but not a doctrinal change.

most of humanity lives (China, India, Japan, Africa, the Middle East etc) lives in countries where it is legal.

as for church teaching, i dont understand how it can be moral but immoral , i guess space-time alters morality

Everything that affects human beings is subject to moral considerations and judgment.

82. The intent of the Church’s social doctrine is of the religious and moral order [122]. Religious because the Church’s evangelizing and salvific mission embraces man “in the full truth of his existence, of his personal being and also of his community and social being”[123]. Moral because the Church aims at a “complete form of humanism”[124], that is to say, at the “liberation from everything that oppresses man” [125] and “the development of the whole man and of all men”[126]. The Church’s social doctrine indicates the path to follow for a society reconciled and in harmony through justice and love, a society that anticipates in history, in a preparatory and prefigurative manner, the “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” ( 2 Pet 3:13).

What you are advocating is libertarianism. Unhinging the social conscience from these matters of human justice that the Church has been fundamentally oriented to since Christ came.

This social doctrine also entails a duty to denounce , when sin is present: the sin of injustice and violence that in different ways moves through society and is embodied in it[120]. By denunciation, the Church’s social doctrine becomes judge and defender of unrecognized and violated rights, especially those of the poor, the least and the weak[121]. The more these rights are ignored or trampled, the greater becomes the extent of violence and injustice, involving entire categories of people and large geographical areas of the world, thus giving rise to social questions , that is, to abuses and imbalances that lead to social upheaval. A large part of the Church’s social teaching is solicited and determined by important social questions, to which social justice is the proper answer.

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

we will have to remind the kurdish/nigerian militia when they come across that the next the isis/bokoharam war criminal who raped 70 kafir girls on his way to his next slaughter cant execute him but must throw him into some mud hut prison in the desert where later him and his pals get freed either by other isis blasting their way in to let them out or the guards themselves setting them free.

OK, just not relevant to anything I’ve said.

What you are advocating is libertarianism. Unhinging the social conscience from these matters of human justice that the Church has been fundamentally oriented to since Christ came.

Nowhere have I suggested such a thing. I make very specific arguments which are in no way addressed by these generalities.

And God took the lives of Ananias and Sapphira, specified the death penalty in his covenant with Noah, and commanded Moses to include it in the laws he gave the Israelites. It is not reasonable to infer from the incident with Cain that God opposes death as punishment, nor has the church ever made that argument.

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? St. JPII in EV made exactly that argument.

And yet God, who is always merciful even when he punishes, “put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him” (Gen 4:15). He thus gave him a distinctive sign, not to condemn him to the hatred of others, but to protect and defend him from those wishing to kill him, even out of a desire to avenge Abel’s death. Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this.

I mean the problem with that is that it ignores all the more numerous times when God ordered killing, God killed people for groaning, God killed people for lying, and God ordered the deaths of people who broke certain laws.

Which again leads to this meaning it has nothing to do with human dignity.

Also, he didn’t protect him from executions, he protected him from vigilantes and other murderers

And you know what he ended up doing to all of his descendants?
He drowned every single one of them.

We do not read the bible literally but rely on the Church to interpret the text. One may interpret the text if, and only if, the church leaves that text open to personal interpretation. Did you read EV yet?

None of those are personal interpretations, but the long standing interpretations of the text provided by the Church.

Thank you.

It’s like you all forget these things were interpreted before the 60’s.

It’s more like you all forgot the New Testament’s gospels. Please read EV.

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I mean, are you saying the Church forgot about the Gospels when it endorsed the death penalty for 1900 years?

Thank you

Endorse? Tolerate would be a better choice of words. The state’s right to execute has from the beginning been conditional, not absolute.

Did you read EV?

Of course we must recognize that in the Old Testament this sense of the value of life, though already quite marked, does not yet reach the refinement found in the Sermon on the Mount (EV p. 40)

You know the Church itself, under multiple popes, actually executed people, right?

How can you tolerate what you actively use?

You can quit posting EV, as this argument is about what the Church used to teach, not what it “teaches” now.

From the Roman Catechism, promulgated by command and authority of the Council of Trent The definitive and authoritative catechism used by the Church for more than 400 years:

“Execution Of Criminals

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment- is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.“

That sounds more than “tolerated” to me. It sounds like it is an act of “paramount obedience”.

You chose to make bold the sentences before and after the one above. Why?

St. JPII preserves this traditional purpose for allowing the death penalty. The death penalty is an instrument, not an end. If the penalty no longer serves to meet the intended end, i.e. the common good, then as an instrument the death penalty serves no good end.

Nevertheless, I know I cannot persuade you otherwise, so write your letter of complaint to your bishop or directly to the Vatican.

Because he cannot determine if it meets the end without individually examining each specific case.

I don’t need to because it is a prudential matter and I am not bound to it.

As long as a Catholic is in harmony with his bishop and his bishop with the pope, he is on solid ground:

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